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Posted by Joe Willy on

Sept. 19, 2016 - Through AED Motorsport Products and Spike Chassis, IMMI performed a drop test at its Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE). This sprint car was dropped from 12 Feet. With 3.75 inches of head clearance at the drivers upright position sitting in the car, the helmet still makes pretty hard contact with the ground. Note, the helmet makes contact a second time after the car bounces.

AED tested a number of details; Chassis upper roll cage structure, materials they supply, impact values and how the human body responds and stretches under these loads.  For safety reasons, the tail tank was partially filled with sand instead of fluid.  The car was built by Spike Chassis using a full 4130 frame to USAC specs. Post testing inspection showed no structural compression or influence from the impact. 

During a previous test, with the same sized dummy (5' 9" tall) and same size seat, an SFI consultant inspected and confirmed correct install positions and lacing of the belts. The same procedure was used for this test with a brand new set of SFI approved belts.  According to the folks at AED, the belts were pulled tighter than a human would tolerate.  

This just goes to show us that due to the incredible ability for the human body and safety belts to stretch during impact, we may want to consider a rule for the minimum distance between cage and top of helmet greater than 4" and mandatory halos.

Learn more about IMMI and CAPE here: Cape Testing 

Sprint Car Crash Test into a Wall (Dec. 12, 2011)

IMMI crash tests a sprint car into the barrier wall at its Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE) to see how safe a driver might be in an accident that takes place on the track during an actual race.

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